Figure 2: Micromessage Elements and Examples
It’s easy to see, but often goes unaddressed, when a speaker doesn’t make eye contact with us or the walls are papered solely with pictures of male engineers or female preschool teachers. It’s harder to identify when a teacher asks more probing or encouraging questions of male students or a professor learns all the students’ names except those of the two women in the class. All of these micromessages are small and may be inconsequential on their own. However, hundreds of messages of “lack of belonging” have a profound effect on students and employees alike.